How Does Calcium Bentonite Clay Differ from Other Clays?

One of the most common forms of green clay is Bentonite, a clay from the smectite group. It contains substantial amounts of magnesium and a wide variety of trace minerals. Through its natural evolution, bentonite (as well as montmorillonite) also selectively adsorbs a variety of organic material. Echolife’s Calcium Bentonite (Montmorillonite) clay is pH balanced (acid/alkaline ratio).

No two clays are completely alike, even if they are mined in the same area. Our clay is from an underground mine in the beautiful Death Valley/Mojave Desert area of California where it has been protected from the elements for thousands of years. It is finely milled and perfect for adding purified or a good quality still mineral water (hydrating) to make a ‘gel’ or ‘paste’ for face or body applications. Continue reading

The many health benefits of coriander

Coriander (also known as cilantro) is high on the list of beneficial herbs and spices. Coriander seeds contain an abundance of minerals and dietary fibre, while fresh coriander leaves boast vitamins from the A, B, C, E and K groups as well as trace minerals and antioxidants.

The health benefits of coriander are slowly being uncovered. Traditionally, coriander has been used as a digestive aid, to help relieve nausea and gas, and to diminish anxiety. Coriander has been called ‘anti-diabetic’, is still used in India for its diuretic properties, and recent studies in the US indicate it can help lower cholesterol.

Some isolated compounds present in coriander show strong evidence of antibiotic and antimicrobial properties more effective at killing salmonella than common drugs on the market*. Consuming large amounts of coriander also led to higher concentration of toxins like mercury present in the urine of patients suffering from mercury poisoning**, suggesting that coriander helps the body eliminate harmful toxins. Not bad for a tasty little herb!

Coriander Botanical Chart by KoehInterestingly, some people have a strong reaction to coriander and cannot stand its smell or taste – someone in that camp having even gone as far as creating a blog named ‘I Hate Cilantro‘. If you too are a cilantro-hater but feel you are missing out on the benefits of coriander, you can reeducate your brain and add a little bit at a time to dishes you love – some having successfully cured their hatred of coriander this way***.

In case you’re in need of ideas, here are a few uses for coriander:

  • Juice it! Thrown a few stalks of fresh coriander leaves in next time you’re making some fresh juice – it goes well with celery, cucumber and spinach – or for something a bit different, try it with orange and carrot.
  • Make coriander tea: add a few sprigs of fresh coriander leaves to some freshly boiled water and steep for at least 5mn. Drink up, and munch on the leaves when the cup of tea is gone. Not recommended if you find coriander a bit too intense on its own.
  • Chop fresh coriander leaves finely and add to soups, salads or casseroles just before serving.
  • Ground coriander can be added to savoury pancakes, or mixed with pepper and sesame seeds to garnish miso soup.
  • Put it on your face: fresh coriander leaves juiced and mixed with turmeric is an old-timey remedy to help congested skin, acne and pimples. Apply to freshly cleansed skin for best results.
Sources: *Wikipedia, **NCBI, ***New York Times 

(Image credit: Wikipedia)

How To: Clay Masks and Wraps

Who doesn’t like a bit of pampering?  How about some affordable but luxurious, do it yourself pampering?

Clay face masks and body wraps are just the ticket: wonderful and inexpensive ways to deeply cleanse the body, while improving the tone and texture of the skin.

You need a good quality clay, ideally a swelling clay as they are especially suited to drawing out toxins and impurities – and you can add some natural ingredients for greater enhanced benefits to the skin.

Why face or body masks?  In addition to a gentle daily cleanse, a  deep-cleansing treatment once to twice weekly is necessary to maintain glowing and healthy skin.  It can help remove lingering impurities, tighten the skin and shrink pores.  A clay face or body mask also stimulates circulation and brings blood to the surface of the skin, and with it nutrients and oxygen: everything the skin needs to keep that healthy glow!

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Taking A Clay Bath

clay bath

Clay baths are not the stuff of expensive spa trips: you can treat yourself to regular clay baths at home, easily and cheaply!

Our green swelling clay (technically of the ‘calcium bentonite’ denomination) is also milled to a very fine gauge: if you are picturing a thick bubbling mess to clean up, you will be pleasantly surprised to only have to rinse the bath lightly afterwards.  Too easy!



Our bodies absorb both nutrients and toxins from the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the cosmetics we use.  If you diet is high in processed and pre-packaged foods and you use a lot of beauty and cleaning products from supermarket shelves, you would be absorbing a lot of artificial additives and chemicals via digestion and through the skin.

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